Amanda Holstein Built A Life Off Blogging, She Shares Her Best Biz Tips.

Amanda Holstein Built A Life Off Blogging, She Shares Her Best Biz Tips. | VERITE WOMAN, Advice from a twenty something, Amanda Holstein, SF, Blogger, How to make a living off of blogging, Boss lady tips, how to start an online business, Photography, depression, mental health, how to deal with depression.When I first met Amanda Holstein she gave me advice on starting this little creative business here called Vérité Woman. Seems totally accurate for someone who has built blossoming career from a blog called Advice From a Twenty Something. It’s successful not just because she gives really, really good guidance, but due to her open book, hustlers mentality. She’s wise beyond her years in career, self-care, and internet-entrepeuneurship but the thing that makes her most approachable is she’s authentic in her “we’re all figuring it out”  approach. I wanted to share some of her nuggets of gold with you — whether you’re starting your own company, trying to get on top of those finances in 2018, or just love a good lady success story Amanda’s your go-to girl.

Vérité Woman: What were you doing career wise when you launched Advice From A Twenty Something?

Amanda Holstein: I was working for a media company/influencer network representing bloggers in the Women’s Lifestyle category. I actually had launched a different blog prior to Advice from a 20 Something when I first graduated from college. I was having trouble finding a career path I felt passionate about, so I launched that first blog simply as a creative outlet. That first blog introduced me to a whole new world and helped me land my job at the media company. From there, I was lucky enough to get to work with some of today’s most successful bloggers just as they were launching their careers (like Gal Meets Glam, The Everygirl, Design Sponge, sfgirlbybay, Glitter Guide, and many more). Getting an insider’s look at what made these blogs successful and what brands were looking for in a partner inspired me to launch Advice from a 20 Something with a more strategic plan in mind.

VW: What made you want to jump the 9-5 ship and go out on your own?

AH: The longer I worked for a 9-5 company while simultaneously running my blog, the more I realized how much more passionate I was about working on my own projects. I just didn’t feel that same passion for the job I was doing, even though it was very much related to my blog. I just loved the ownership of running my own website. The effort I put in was directly associated with the results, and I really loved that. I was also never a fan of the arbitrary expectations of working for a 9-5 company. Getting in at a certain time, staying at the same desk all day, and leaving late enough to show your commitment — I hated all of that. It didn’t inspire me or even allow me to do my best work.

VW: How did you know you were ready to go freelance?

AH: It’s funny because I always said my goal with my blog was never to go full time. But what I realized was that I was just afraid that if I went full time, I might fail. Once I realized that fear was the only thing holding me back from doing it, it was a total wake up call. I did not want to let fear control my life so I said f*ck it and decided to take the plunge. I did it slowly, first by working part-time at a startup and part-time on my blog. But eventually, it became more and more clear that my passion for my blog was growing and once I felt comfortable enough financially, I made the jump.

VW: What are your key tactics for being financially smart in your business and in your personal life?

AH: I would say being financially smart is always something I’m working on perfecting. But I do keep track of everything when it comes to my business in google spreadsheets and that helps a ton. Every campaign, when it’s paid, etc. Keeping this type of data is helpful in so many ways. I can look back at see what I made this time last year and that helps me plan ahead, since income fluctuates monthly in the freelance world. Besides keeping track of everything, I really take the time to think about where I want to spend my money and if it’s worthwhile. For example, the first year I went freelance I decided to spend my money on a photographer, The second year, I felt it was necessary to invest in a full redesign. Those decisions were definitely worthwhile, but only because I made them at the right time.

Amanda Holstein Built A Life Off Blogging, She Shares Her Best Biz Tips. | VERITE WOMAN, Advice from a twenty something, Amanda Holstein, SF, Blogger, How to make a living off of blogging, Boss lady tips, how to start an online business, Photography, depression, mental health, how to deal with depression.VW: You share so many wonderful career and finance tips on your blog, can you tell us about some tools you’ve found that keep you on track?

AH: I use Quickbooks and I absolutely love it! It’s super helpful for tracking my income & expenses. Getting a separate credit card for my business expenses was incredibly helpful as well because I could track all of my business purchases in one place.

VW: Are you a written calendar or phone calendar girl?

AH: Phone! Which is funny because I write everything down on paper — notes, lists, you name it. But when it comes to my calendar, I like the simplicity of using my phone.

VW: I know all too well that when you’re hustling your own endeavor you’ve got your hands in everything from content creation to the tiny admin details — how do you stay focused on the tasks at hand?

AH: That’s definitely something I’m constantly working on. It’s really about prioritizing and planning out what you’re going to work on each day. It’s so important to step back and see the bigger picture before deciding where to spend my time. One thing I’ve been trying recently is to assign each day of the week to a different category. So Monday’s I focus on social, Tuesday’s is blog content, Wednesday’s is all campaign focused, Thursday’s are for affiliate strategy, and Friday is reserved for admin stuff. Now I definitely don’t stick to this exclusively, but it’s a nice way to get my mind focused on my main priority that day.

VW: Tell us your favorite ways to decompress after a long week!

AH: Hiking! I’ve actually been starting my days off with a hike each morning, and it’s been such a great way to clear my mind. I’m also a huge napper and can’t resist a lazy Netflix day!Amanda Holstein Built A Life Off Blogging, She Shares Her Best Biz Tips. | VERITE WOMAN, Advice from a twenty something, Amanda Holstein, SF, Blogger, How to make a living off of blogging, Boss lady tips, how to start an online business, Photography, depression, mental health, how to deal with depression.

VW: What do you think of all this Millennial work ethic talk? Do you think the stereotypes ring true?

AH: I think there’s a pretty clear divide in that Millennials have gone in one of two ways. Some have seen influencers become wildly successful in a short amount of time and believe that success is instantaneous. I receive messages all the time asking how to monetize a blog that hasn’t even launched yet. However, I believe there is another group of Millennials who see the opportunity they have to create the career they want. I think seeing this wave of freelancers, startups, and and self-employed girl bosses has inspired many to go after what they want, knowing that it’s hard work and enjoying the grind.

VW: Are there any books that have changed the way you work/ think?

AH: Yes, for sure! I read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life and that was super helpful in getting me to refocus on what’s truly important to me and to take some of the unnecessary pressure off of myself. I also really enjoy Jess Lively’s Podcast, The Lively Show. She talks a lot about living in alignment and listening to your intuition. I highly recommend it! To be honest, the biggest thing that has changed the way I work/think is therapy. It’s one of those experiences that can’t be replaced by books or podcasts and can have long-term effects on the way you think and live your life.Amanda Holstein Built A Life Off Blogging, She Shares Her Best Biz Tips. | VERITE WOMAN, Advice from a twenty something, Amanda Holstein, SF, Blogger, How to make a living off of blogging, Boss lady tips, how to start an online business, Photography, depression, mental health, how to deal with depression.

VW: You’ve been candid and transparent with your followers about your struggle with depression — your openness to talk about it was beneficial for me and I’m sure so many others — and I’m wondering how you keep focused and moving forward when you’re feeling bouts of anxiety, or depression?

AH: Dealing with depression while owning our own business is definitely not easy, but what I’ve learned is to try and show myself some compassion. Rather than getting down on myself about not being productive when I’m already feeling depressed, I try to just wait it out and give myself a break. I know I’m not going to do my best work when I’m in a depressed state. My head gets cloudy, that negative voice gets really strong, and it’s just not worth struggling through those feelings just to get some work done. I try to remind myself that my health needs to come first, and mental health is part of that. I’ve also found that talking about my experience with depression openly with my readers has helped a lot. It not only makes me realize that I’m the only one putting the pressure on myself, but also reminds me that I’m definitely not alone in what I’m going through.Amanda Holstein Built A Life Off Blogging, She Shares Her Best Biz Tips. | VERITE WOMAN, Advice from a twenty something, Amanda Holstein, SF, Blogger, How to make a living off of blogging, Boss lady tips, how to start an online business, Photography, depression, mental health, how to deal with depression.

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Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba!

Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! When scrolling through Anna-Alexia Basile’s Instagram feed it’s easy to garner her aesthetic is highly influenced by color and light. Color through light. Light impacting color. It seems only natural that she booked herself a ticket to Cuba just a few months after the country settled differences with the U.S. and opened its welcome gate. Retrophiles have shared in worry — Cuba will soon be impacted by our tourism, and will no longer feel like a moment stuck in a time long, long ago. However, you see here, this has yet to unfold. Cuba is still a land of charisma — each photo almost bringing to life the sounds, smells, visuals of Havanas streets, all swirling together into one visceral treat. We wanted to know everything Anna could tell us about this until-now forbidden place, so grab your café cubano and read on…

Why Cuba?
My world is ruled by color so Cuba was a no brainer. Everything — the house, the cars, the people — are so vibrant. Cuba speaks my visual language, so it was the ideal place to make some color-heavy magic. Plus I’ve always been enamored w salsa dancing and salsa music– you can barely walk the streets there without getting pulled into the rhythm. You may be dancing with a stranger, but the moves are perfectly familiar.

What cities did your Cuban adventure take you to?
We flew into Havana and immediately drove to Viñales, a small rural town on the western side of Cuba. Viñales is so dreamy — it has one main road that’s lined with tons of colorful houses that lead you to the main square. The streets are filled with locals and travelers alike who are all mixing, mingling and dancing in the square into the wee hours of the night. By day we rode horses through the avocado groves and tobacco farms and sampled local rums and hand-rolled cigars. By night we’d always find ourselves back at the main square dancing with strangers and dipping in and out of bars with live music.
We ended our trip in Havana, Cuba’s capital. We spent our days soaking in the ocean air and exploring the winding streets of old Havana. We made friends with young locals and would explore art galleries and beautiful pools by day and then dance into the night on timeworn rooftops.

How did you prep for this trip? 
I did a lot of pre-planning because I knew we were going to have very limited access to the Internet once we arrived. My tips for anyone considering making this beautiful adventure are to:
Download an offline map — enter in all the destinations you’re interested in before you leave the States. This will show you what’s near each other so you can group activities in close proximity together on the same day
BYOB: Bring Your Own Basics — Because of the embargo, Cuba doesn’t have a lot of the basics that we’re used to having day-to-day. I didn’t realize how much I took for granted elementary first aid until I got some gnarly blisters on my feet. Not only did the stores not have Band-Aids, but neither did the emergency room…in Havana, nonetheless!
Embrace the Bike Taxi — Bike Taxis are a great way to quickly shimmy through the skinny streets of Havana. On our first day there we had a young kid Bike Taxi us around Havana Vieja and point out all the big landmarks so we could familiarize ourselves with the area.
Talk to the locals — Make friends with people you meet in the street and spend time with your hosts. Chances are they’ll turn you on to something unexpected!

Tell us about Cuban life: What stood out? What impacted you? Where did you feel the most inspired?
I was blown away by how friendly and welcoming the locals were — both in urban and rural settings we were greeted with open arms. It felt easy to experience the culture because everyone was excited to share it with us. I was most inspired by the colors. My eyes were constantly on sensory overload. I never knew where to look—the corners where the colorful houses meet, the vibrant cars whizzing past each other on the street or the striking older Cuban women smoking cigars alongside ancient buildings.

Let’s get down to it: Where do you suggest travelers go, eat, shop?

Viñales | Eat: At the Casa Particulare that you’re staying at! The hosts will often cook you a really delicious local meal that’s a nice change from the usual nosh

See: Tour the tobacco fields on horseback and take a day trip to Cayo Jutías, a wistful crystal-clear beach where the locals drive their old cars right up to the water

Do: Salsa dance with someone new in the main square!

Havana | Eat: At El Dandy for quick and delicious vegetarian friendly meals and free popcorn, La Guarida for a nice sit-down date, $0.30 street pizza!

See: Get lost in the streets of Havana Vieja and walk the Malecon (the big wall along the sea)

Do: FAC (Fabrica de Arte Cubana) for an evening experience of the young and modern in Havana

Shop: Clandestina for locally designed really rad clothing and bags

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Travel Writer & Two Time Book Author Andi Eaton Schools Us!

Travel Writer & Two Time Book Author Andi Eaton Schools Us! | VERITE WOMAN, Bohemian, Travel, Gypset, Instagram, Best Books 2017, Road Trip, Desert, Travel across America, Amazon.Ever wonder what it’s like to be a travel writer with a book deal? A dream life for most of us. Andi Eaton, founder of the blog Oui We is now seasoned in the process of executing a book, and even more so in the art of The Wanderess — packing up her car, grabbing her camera, and getting on the road. With her second book Wanderful: The Modern Bohemian’s Guide to Traveling in Style (Amazon Prime people,hustle and it could still be the perfect Christmas gift) just out we thought it high time we dove behind the scenes of her 35mm, technicolored life.
From the spookiest of road trip stories, to how traveling America in such a dire time rejuvenated her, Andi embodies the nomadic lifestyle many crave, yet few are brave enough to follow.
Travel Writer & Two Time Book Author Andi Eaton Schools Us! | VERITE WOMAN, Bohemian, Travel, Gypset, Instagram, Best Books 2017, Road Trip, Desert, Travel across America, Amazon.

Vérité Woman: You just published your second book, Wanderful, which is truly the coolest thing ever! What did the process of making this book look like?

Andi Eaton: Ahhh, yes — thank you girl! I’m sooo glad to see it out in the world finally — the process is so damn lengthy, about 2 years. So here was sort of how it all broke down, and this is once the whole concept was created and sold to a publisher (that was a whole process in itself): 3 months of outlining, organizing, researching and deciding which locations would be featured, 3 months of traveling to the destinations, shooting, meeting the girls that would be featured, taking notes on their stories and stalking the cool kids in each destination to get a sense of where locals truly hang… and then after that write, write, write.
I’m the type of writer that likes to lock myself away and get it all done. I would write a chapter in about 3 days, take a day to edit and then move to the next.
After all of that is complete, the book goes into the design stage and that’s another several month process. That’s truly the part I loved the best (besides traveling to all of the destinations of course). Seeing all of the photos laid out and creating a story told through visuals and words… I love that. From there, it’s off to sales/marketing/pr, etc… and voila! We have a book.

VW: What were your top three favorite places that made it into the book?

AE: Terlingua, Texas — it’s a total artistic utopia full of quirky drifters and was the last stop on a my first desert road trip.
Big Sur, CA — it’s magnitude is supernatural, I was immediately transported back to the 60s era bohemian artist’s off-the-grid Big Sur.
Flathead Lake, Montana — It’s the largest natural lake in the west. Once there, there’s so many choose your own adventure opportunities in those majestic mountain towns surrounding it.

VW: In a world of influencers whose content is very much based on themselves you bring a fresh take to blogging — uplifting others and sharing an outlook of freedom and free spirit. What about your journey made you want to focus on these subjects for Oui We Girl?

AE: I started this whole process at the time when fashion bloggers were starting to land front row seats at fashion week and instagram was starting to make stars out of the “the girl next door.” I launched my first blog with the intention to cover what was happening in my own community — specifically the fashion community in New Orleans. At the time I was running the fashion week program there and that’s all I wrote about.
Around then I was also finishing my first book “New Orleans Style” — I went to Spain for 4 months to get the writing completed (told ya I like to lock myself away to write) and it occurred to me that it was time to shift Oui We to reflect these new experiences. I love the mindset of artistic survival and for the first time I’d have to live that way — I’d left my corporate job and felt a kinship to people that live traveling gig to gig.
That summer, while taking writing breaks, I’d travel through Spain (on a serious budget, btw!) and the idea to relaunch my site as a home for bohemian travelers — with stories about the spirit that comes alive in oneself when traveling that way — happened there.

Travel Writer & Two Time Book Author Andi Eaton Schools Us! | VERITE WOMAN, Bohemian, Travel, Gypset, Instagram, Best Books 2017, Road Trip, Desert, Travel across America, Amazon.

VW: Your Instagram is like peering down a Wes Anderson meets Twiggy rabbit hole. Where do you gain inspiration for your images from?

AE: Girlll, okay, yesss, omg thank you, that’s a serious compliment. I suppose I never felt quite right doing the standard #ootd posts… I’ve always loved editorial fashion — however I grew up going to flea markets with my mom, and always found a joy in collecting quirky things at estate sales and thrift shops. My aesthetic is a bit darker maybe — I love art, film, music and poetry that evokes ephemeral emotions that are kind of hard to identify. I’m inspired by visuals that have an air of heaviness, but still feel playfully potent. When I’m considering creating imagery for my own IG page I think about finding a way — through movement, or light perhaps — to have the viewer feel as if they were right there in the experience.

VW: What tips would you give to a girl with a small budget looking to take a life changing road trip?

AE: When I’m considering going somewhere life changing I think about going into nature first. I pack my car full of snacks, and sometimes even bring a cooler with fresh fruits, veggies and goodies to make little meals… you don’t have to eat out, or buy lots of things, or even pay for tourist sorts of things… just get out there with a map, a tank full of gas and a plan and it’s all possible.
Plus: I travel on a writer’s budget… so truly, while it can sometimes look glam, it really isn’t. In my book there’s lots of hostel priced hotels featured, I love glamping for budget traveling too… and even airbnb can be done on a budget.

VW: If you could give girls advice starting their own business, or dedicating life to their craft what would it be?

AE: Study your ass off, find brilliant mentors, don’t think you know everything about what you’re doing, ever — there’s always more to learn. Build a business plan, get comfortable losing more than you win at the beginning. Remind yourself that every morning is a leap of faith. Follow your intuition, don’t  allow the self doubt to seep in, and save every penny you can to get your dream going.

VW: Wow, those are serious nuggets of gold that just moved me a little! What does a day in your life look like?

AE: It truly depends on where I am, often I’m out on the road, however on the days I am home it might look like this: Sleep until 8 or 8:30 (I’m a serious advocate for sleep), plus my bf plays in a rock band, so inevitably we’re out late a lot.
Morning beauty rituals:  I do normal things like brushing my teeth, washing my face, take my vitamins and then I layer on holistic facial oils, but I do that stuff before I even step into the kitchen. Next it’s coffee, smoothies or an easy breakfast like turmeric oats maybe — I cook a ton — and then I’m at my desk by around 9:30. If I’m traveling, this is where the routine is totally different and I’m out exploring by 9 or so at the latest.
If I’ve got a writing assignment or a post going up on Oui We I’ll turn on some music, tune everything else out and get to work. I’ll spend the next several hours on that and on client projects (I offer creative consulting & direction for a handful of female-owned businesses). I often go to Bikram Yoga around lunch time and ideally the second half of the day is devoted to creative activities — whether that’s writing, mood boarding or taking photos out in nature (or in the city, depending on where I am!), I get a lot of energy from exploring.
In the evening it’s sage, essential oils and then I cook dinner with my bf, wine and a good 70s’ playlist. If Ben and I are on the road we’ll find a tucked away restaurant and maybe meet up with friends. My pace of life is much slower living in Nashville, by the way, than it was back home in New Orleans where there’s always a party.
Travel Writer & Two Time Book Author Andi Eaton Schools Us! | VERITE WOMAN, Bohemian, Travel, Gypset, Instagram, Best Books 2017, Road Trip, Desert, Travel across America, Amazon.
VW: In such a time of strain within our own country your book, your blog, and your photos are like a beautiful ode to America. What discoveries have you made about the country and its people that stand out most to you?

AE: I started the research for “Wanderful” before I ever could have imagined what would happen in last year’s election… however, what I did know was that the natural resources and the beauty throughout America — like what we have in our National Park system — was something that I wanted an opportunity to talk more about. As I went out to experience much of America last year the relationships that I develop with people all over this country — people that are so deeply rooted in doing right for the environment, and for their own cultures and communities was an unbelievably awesome bonus.  
In all of the places I went, and there were a lot — the book covers 9 road trips across the country — there were many moments of unexpected connection. As divided as this country is right now, and that strain that we’re all feeling — I find that when we ground into nature, music, good food and drink, the stars — all the good stuff. I find there’s always something there that can bring us together … so those are the thing I spend time on.Travel Writer & Two Time Book Author Andi Eaton Schools Us! | VERITE WOMAN, Bohemian, Travel, Gypset, Instagram, Best Books 2017, Road Trip, Desert, Travel across America, Amazon.

VW: I love a good scary story. Do you have any road trip horror stories for us?

AE: Haha, there were definitely some moments… but maybe this one was the best:
This occurred traveling through the Chihuahuan Desert, and I’ll preface with a note that there’s a deep magic in that sort of wildness, even when it is a bit scary.
We’d started out on a venture to a hot springs we’d heard about down on the border. The host of our campsite gave us directions, reminded us to drive slow — we’d be taking a seriously primitive road — and said in 6 miles we would cross into the backside of the national park where the hot springs would be. We packed water, PB&Js and took off. What none of accounted for was the heavy rains a few days before. The other question we’d failed to ask… ‘when we cross that 6 mile mark, how much further until we hit a paved road?’ The answer to that question would have been 18 miles. And 18 miles is major on a mud soaked primitive desert road.
About 3 hours in, we drove deep into a mud bog… no cell service and visions of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre were only half of the fears that were starting to bubble up. We thought surely someone would cross our path, but we’d seen no one yet that day. We climbed onto the roof… nothing as far as we could see, and then the coyotes started to howl. We thought we’d hike out, however a short distance from the car we were startled by the sound of rattles (omg, snakes?!) and were there scorpions scurrying behind the cactus trees? Back to the car we went.
Finally 2 hours later another human: a border patrol officer — however we weren’t of concern to him…he needed to attend to what was happening on his radio. I plead. He stopped: “How in the world did you guys get out here? it’s only going to get worse ahead, so put it in first gear and crank yourselves out of here.”
This is the first time my skill from being the only girl in a crew of off roaders when I was 16 has come in truly, very handy. We worked that car out of the mud, and a few hours later we were finally drinking beer in that hot springs saying to ourselves… “the stories we will tell.”

VW: I am so satisfied with that scar story, I got goosebumps. What’s your next dream destination?

AE: I’ve not been to Japan yet. It’s high on my list. Australia too.Definitely in 2018.

VW: Three books you can’t live without?

AE: I suppose these are the three I recommend the most:
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles – Steven PressfieldMany Lives, Many Masters by Brian WeissAnd lately there’s been a tie between Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear and Material Girl, Mystical World: The Now Age Guide to a High-Vibe Life

Travel Writer & Two Time Book Author Andi Eaton Schools Us! | VERITE WOMAN, Bohemian, Travel, Gypset, Instagram, Best Books 2017, Road Trip, Desert, Travel across America, Amazon.

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Femme Feed | How Sleeping Can Change The World!

FEMME FEED | AN INSTALLATION OF “OF THE MOMENT”
STORIES FOR GIRLS IN THE KNOW.

What is a dream? In truth it is what ever you want it to be. Just as your life can be. Vérité wellness contributor, and Dream Worker Renée Palkovsky swears by the ability to steer your life through your dreams. Thus both are malleable. You have the opportunity to create that change you want to see in the world. By allowing your “awake” mind to take a backseat, your intuition has the ability to thrive. We sat down with Renée [in the video above]  in which she dissects Vérité Woman founder Michaela d’Artois’ strange dreams, tells us why you should be listening to these sleeping messages, and shares where the Dream Your World Into Being concept started. You heard us, set aside time this week to learn how sleeping can change the world!

We can dream nightmares, or we can dream great dreams.  We can stay stuck in “what is” or we can imagine and manifest what can be.

What is a Dream Conference? It’s the first of its kind! The Dream Your World Into Being conference is the initiative to educate the greater public about how dreams can be used to spur innovation. In turn this can heal our world, and create change in our communities.

No you don’t have to be sleeping to partake! The conference is open to everyone and begins this coming Wednesday, October 25th through Sunday, October 28th. Register for free here!

We want to know more about this Dream business! For more information about how you can use Dream Work to change your life read our interview with Dream Coach Bonnie Buckner. 

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“I Was In An Open Relationship”

relationship, culture, advice, design, graphics, women, dating, tips, love
Two twenty-somethings lead us down the rabbit hole of what it is like to question the traditional structure of “The Relationship” in exchange for “The Open Relationship”. With the influx of modern literature touching on the subject, such as the popular Sex at Dawn, we are supported in making these decisions more than ever before. It may not be a setting you are likely to find on your Facebook, but this disclosed style of dating isn’t just the ferris wheel adverse to a significant other — these are true serious bonds, they just aren’t monogamous. Guess what, they are working.

Meet Laura, a 24 year old based in New York City. It all began on a long summer day at a dive bar where Laura met her boyfriend for the very first time. While hanging out with an attractive lesbian acquaintance, they spotted a guy across the room that rose interest in both of them. By the end of the night the three had caught on to a pretty strong bond, ending up spending the night together. This was Laura’s first threesome. The trio continued to hang out for about a month together but soon the other girl amicably left the trifecta, and the duo were left with a two year tie ahead of them.
“We were all having such a good time and the dynamic really worked well. There wasn’t any jealousy I think mostly because she’s a lesbian and he’s straight so I feel like in a weird way I was the corner stone. I’m kind of a jealous person in a reactionary way but I feel like that’s why it worked so well, I didn’t have anything to be jealous of.”
For about six months it was monogamous, but during a trip to Costa Rica they met another couple they really clicked with, and by the time they returned home this was a natural element in the relationship.
Jealousy didn’t resurface as they were consistently communicative about equally being attracted to people that came into their lives. “It was never a shady thing, we would never go behind each others backs or use people for sex. It was an admiration or a respect. We always did it together. It was about being totally honest with your feelings and each other,” Laura explains “…and so many conversations of fleshing things out.”
The two stayed together happily, until they finally decided to go their own way, however the multiple-partners played no part in the uncoupling.

“I think it worked so well because it started day one like that. I’ve always been interested in exploring different relationship models but with boyfriends before it never felt right, you already have this agreement and if you work outside the bounds of that it feels like ulterior motives in a way. It can’t just be like you want to bring someone in that you know, and make it about a sexual thing. It has to be that we are both independently attracted to this person, their personality — and they have to be respectful of you guys as a couple.”
relationship, culture, advice, design, graphics, women, dating, tips, love
On another coast, a seven year alliance took a different approach to shifting the boundaries of what was between them. Dores and her boyfriend, both 30, began long distance. Two years in he relocated to California to be with her. The move brought a dose of pressure for both, and she came to realize that he had been seeking intimacy outside of their accord. She focused in on the fact that as a human she too had attractions to others, and being raised in a European household wasn’t as stigmatized by the guidelines of the classic American family. Knowing that this didn’t have to be the end, they started looking into other forms of structuring, while maintaining their strong intellectual, loving bond. Through copious amounts of reading and research, they found solace in the decision to reorient.
“It made us very close for a long time, you’re super open, it makes you really know this person. We were very scared — it was kind of weird but not as weird as you would think. For me I didn’t need to know the details, for me it’s knowing if I ask I can be told, having no lies.”
relationship, culture, advice, design, graphics, women, dating, tips, love
She made it clear that jealousy didn’t come from the other women but the fact that he had more free time to pursue than she did. As they had promised each other, they soon talked it out, creating a balance.
“You get to see them in a different light when you’re in an open relationship. When you’re very close to somebody you aren’t as attracted to them, it almost becomes platonic, but if they are across the room talking to someone they become more attractive. In an open relationship it makes you see them the way other people see them.”
What she learned from the years that they chose to live with this format was that the first rule is there are no rules — once you hit a hurtle you must equilibrate together and move forward. Did they tell the people they were dating that they had a live-in person? He did, she usually didn’t. She realized very quickly that as soon as you tell someone that you’re just there to have sex, they won’t stick around for long. However, her boyfriend helped her to see that after a few dates it was only fair to the other person to unfold the information.
“It’s not the third person that pulls you out of a relationship, it’s you that leaves.” Soon enough they found that their independence was keeping them more apart than together, and decided to end the things to grow separately. Dores had also realized that she had grown feelings for someone that she had been dating and wanted to pursue that connection. The two have stayed extremely close in their breakup, which she says was ideal, and continue to push each other forward as friends.

It’s exhilarating to be apart of a generation that is brave enough to question the cultural architecture of how we delve into our partnerships. Ask yourselves why you choose to either be in an open or closed relationship. It’s not for everyone, but looking inward to find what is right for you and your S.O. is the most important part of beginning. For neither Laura nor Dores was this format the ending of their love, both running its course naturally. However, it’s honesty and communication are what made it successful. “It’s harder to be monogamous than to be in an open relationship.” Dores says in closing.

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